Christmas Island (Australia) + 1 more

Australian Government criticised over Christmas Island tent plan

News and Press Release
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Simon Cullen, Canberra

Australia's Government has been criticised over a proposal to house asylum seekers in tents on the Indian Ocean territory of Christmas Island.

The Federal Immigration Department says it may house some asylum seekers in tents if the Christmas Island detention centre becomes full.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, says that idea is unacceptable.

"We should simply be bringing them to the mainland and processing them here," she said.

The Australian Opposition's Immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, says overcrowding in the detention centre is the Government's fault.

"This must be the wake up call for the Government to get serious about its border protection policies," he said.

The Government says 1,384 people are now being held in detention on Christmas Island, a figure that is just 16 shy of capacity.

However, it says an extra 200 beds should be in place by the middle of the month.

The Immigration Minister Chris Evans, has been unavailable for comment.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation